2023 Annual Report

I want to begin by thanking and recognizing each member of the Phoenix family for their dedication and hard work. It is important to know that the Phoenix family includes not only employees, but also persons served, board members, customers, vendors, and other service
agencies. All share in the outcomes that make up the 2023 Phoenix footprint.

I would like to mention that this will be my final contribution to the Phoenix Annual Report as I am retiring in September of 2024, after 46 years of service. As you read this report, join me in reflecting on how far we have come. Thousands of persons with disabilities have been served with just as many experiencing positive outcomes. Phoenix has made a difference and with the selection of my successor let us expect and demand that Phoenix never lose sight of its mission. And be assured that as I leave, the current staff, employees, and board of directors, have this concern well in hand.

Even though 2023 was another challenging year, Phoenix remained mission-focused to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. This Annual Report is a snapshot of the achievements and challenges that occurred in 2023. The report reflects efficiency and effectiveness measures, as well as programmatic outcomes that affirm the mission while assuring organizational and programmatic longevity.

Even though the impact of COVID-19 has greatly diminished, labor shortages and programmatic challenges continued, making contract fulfillment frequently challenging. Nevertheless, Phoenix continued to provide timely goods and services to our customers, including the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Department of Defense, the FBI, and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Most importantly Phoenix continues providing quality employment opportunities to the people we serve.

For 2023, advocacy efforts continued. It was and is essential that elected officials and other stakeholders hear the Phoenix story and understand how simple changes on the national level can have lethal implications for our programs at the grassroots level. This year many programmatic changes within our national affiliate became prominent challenges that directly impacted the people with disabilities served. Fortunately, Phoenix was able to quickly adjust to this new emphasis and continue to satisfy its mission and the countless obligations to our partners. 

Phoenix also continued to celebrate diversity with a complete endorsement of universal equity and inclusion. Several Phoenix diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were undertaken in 2023 both organizationally and through the support of outside activities. These included the U.S. Para-cycling World Cup, the USA Patriots Annual Game, the Smithsonian Bias Within Us Traveling Exhibit, and ongoing membership in the City of Huntsville’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) advisory council. Phoenix stands firm in its commitment to universal justice and equal treatment!

Phoenix is a service organization first, offering various rehabilitation programs through a business and work model. By partnering with SourceAmerica, the AbilityOne Program, the Redstone Arsenal Garrison and its tenants, various commercial enterprises, and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Phoenix continued to provide a comprehensive rehabilitation process, always pursuing long-term stable employment with good pay and benefits. And finally, Phoenix provided grants and support totaling over $113,000 to other non-profits serving people with disabilities. A longtime partner, the United Way of Madison County, received a substantial portion of these funds. All these efforts either directly or indirectly help people improve the quality of their lives, in most cases through employment. For 2023, over 600 individuals with disabilities were provided quality employment through these partnerships.


For 2023, partnership continued to define the way Phoenix does business. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) partnership spans 68 years, currently allowing Phoenix to reach 9 North Alabama counties, serving 392 individuals with disabilities with an array of employment-related services. And in 2023, of those, 124 individuals were successful in gaining employment.


Another premier partner, SourceAmerica, and the AbilityOne Commission have been essential in securing contracts to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. SourceAmerica has facilitated opportunities in multiple states but none more evident than here in Huntsville/Madison County on Redstone Arsenal. And that brings me to yet another essential partner, the Redstone Arsenal Garrison, and
its tenants, including the US Army, MDA, NASA, FBI, and ATF. Newer out-of-state initiatives have welcomed new partners, the US Space Force/Air Force.


Phoenix also operates a manufacturing facility to provide various products to the US Government, including parachute harnesses, interment flags, backpacks, strapping, fire containment blankets, fire containment curtains, and other canvas goods. These products represent customers such as the US Army, Air Force, Navy, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the US Forestry Commission.


And finally, I want to recognize and affirm our most important partner, the community of people with disabilities that we serve or will serve. With an unemployment rate greater than any other working demographic, people with disabilities will continue to be the focus of all that Phoenix does. This focus affirms our mission and vision of a community free of barriers. Our values continue to be people, accountability,
customers, ethics, and safety. And finally, Phoenix will continue to advocate that all people experience inclusion and access to quality employment.


People may come to Phoenix seeking employment, seeking help finding a different job, or to gain skills for a future opportunity. You may be the individual seeking assistance, a family member, or simply a person interested in what we do. You are all welcome! The Board of Directors, staff, and employees of Phoenix want to make sure that you have a wonderful experience no matter the reasons you have.

 

Sincerely,

David Perez
President/CEO